Maverick Publishing Specialists Ltd. and Mark Lane Consulting announce Strategic Partnership

Reacting to rapid increase in demand, Maverick to represent and expand Mark Lane’s range of Group Facilitation, Focus Group and Library Advisory Board Support Services.

Dorset, UK October 4th, 2017 – Maverick Publishing Specialists Ltd., the specialist consultancy and outsource solutions company for the publishing and digital content marketplace, announced today that they have agreed a strategic partnership with Mark Lane Consulting to develop and expand a range of Group Facilitation, Focus Group and Library Advisory Board Support Services.

In the last 18 months both Maverick and Mark Lane Consulting have noticed a sharp increase in their respective clients’ interest in understanding how to:

  • Identify customer needs and expectations and how they think
  • Gather insights into attitudes, perceptions, beliefs and feelings of existing and prospective customer groups.
  • Develop regular ‘snap shots’ of how their services are perceived
  • Test attitudes to proposed changes
  • Obtain feedback on recent initiatives and/or gaining feedback for improvement

Via their new strategic partnership, Mark Lane Consulting – with support from Maverick Facilitator Associates from all around the world –  are now better placed to assist and expand their respective clients’ requirements in all areas of Group Facilitation, Focus Groups and Advisory Boards.

Martin Marlow commented,

“I am extremely pleased Mark has agreed to work with us to develop this line of mutual customer support. In a busy schedule, organising these type of events and activities can take an awful lot of time and effort for our customers – and now we are even better placed to assist.

“A facilitator is perhaps the most critical factor influencing the effectiveness and usefulness of events such as these. Facilitators need to have a broad range of particular skills and characteristics, not least experience in handling small groups; enthusiasm; self-organisation; energy and open-mindedness. The facilitator's primary job is to create, and re-create, an environment that brings the best out of those present with regard to the aim of the meeting or outcomes required. Mark has an amazing background and expertise in all these areas and a track record that is second to none”   

Mark Lane added,

“Good facilitation is subtle; it may hardly be noticed or remarked upon. At the end of the day, the facilitator's job is well done if the purpose of the meeting is accomplished and everyone feels good about their participation. I am delighted to announce this partnership with Maverick as it now means I can increase the assistance I can provide in all aspects of event planning, preparation, logistics, management and facilitation”.

The new Maverick / Mark Lane partnership will further develop a set of facilitation services that can be tailored to fit the budgets and requirements of all differing customer types and size. These service packages will include such vital elements as;

  • Establishing the specific Goals the customer wants to achieve; agreeing Topics to be covered; and devising the event Structure – using most appropriate methods to encourage Engagement.
  • Planning and preparing for the event itself including Topic Preparation, Presenter Preparation, Presenter Coaching and maximising participant Interaction via the creation and use of briefing papers, questionnaires and case studies.
  • Facilitating the Event to encourage deep thinking and lively discussion, providing Post Event Follow up and Reporting; and Comprehensive Client Debriefs surrounding particular Findings and specific Recommendations.

The Maverick Publishing Specialist Team will be discussing the new partnership as part of their service offering at the Frankfurt Book Fair next week, October 11th to 14th in Frankfurt, Germany. If you would like to know more about the services on offer, please contact either Martin or Mark via the contact information below.

Stephen Laverick Joins Maverick Publishing Specialists as Business Development Senior Associate and XML / digital workflow expert.

Laverick returns to UK after 12 years in China

Maverick Publishing Specialists Ltd., are excited to announce that Stephen Laverick, ex-Integration Manager at Edanz Editing and Technical Director at The Charlesworth Group has joined Maverick to work with the expanding International Business Development and Account Management team, as well as add his in-depth XML and integrated publishing workflow expertise to the Content and Technology division.

Having recently returned to the UK after 12 years in Beijing, China, Stephen has over 20 years’ experience in scholarly publishing, primarily focused on digital publishing solutions.

At Edanz Editing, based in Beijing, Stephen’s role as Integration Manager was to ensure that the companies “publication process” based suite of author services met the needs of the publishing community by forming and managing collaborative partnerships with a wide range of both publishers and third-parties to create efficient workflows. Stephen was also able to make use of his experience in XML-first publishing workflow integration, advising on technical infrastructure and feature requirements for the development of an online authoring eco-system aimed at simplifying the publication process for authors who have English as a second-language.

During his time as Technical Director at The Charlesworth Group, Stephen was instrumental in overseeing the development of robust, scalable and efficient XML-first workflows for OA megajournals for the likes of PLOS, Nature and RSC as well as tailoring solutions around specific publisher requirements. He was also heavily involved in the growth of the Charlesworth China creation and subsequent management of a dedicated technical development team consisting of Beijing, China and UK based programming support teams.

More recently Stephen was a key figure in the setup of the Alliance for Scientific Editing in China, an industry response to the growth in unethical practices in author services in China. He is a member of the Society of Scholarly Publishers, volunteering on the Membership Committee, and is involved in the JATS4R initiative to introduce standardisation in the use of JATS XML. Stephen has been a regular conference speaker and attendee at industry events such as SSP, ISMTE and ALPSP. He is now based in North Yorkshire, UK offering advice on XML and digital publishing workflows.

Martin Marlow, President of Maverick Publishing Specialists, commented,

I am thrilled to have Stephen coming on board. With such a wide range of experience and background in both the UK, China and internationally, alongside a Publishing contact network that is of the highest order, he will be an invaluable asset to our Business Development team. And with such a rich level of expertise in XML, publishing workflows and the whole publication process, he will also be a great asset to any client who wants assistance in these areas at either a strategic or operational level.

Strong Industry Growth leads to Maverick extending its expertise and support for 2017

New customer agreements mean further expansion of the Maverick Publisher Specialist Associate team

Dorset, UK March, 2017 – Recent client demand for specific expertise and support across all three of its core service areas has resulted in Maverick Publishing Specialists Ltd., the strategic consultancy and outsource services company, adding a number of senior level expert Associates over the last 3 months.

Further strengthening its ability to provide Board level and specialist support in Marketing, Sales, Market Research, and all areas of Content and Technology consultancy, Maverick is seeing an Industry in strong growth mode.

Recent additions to its Publishing support team include Ruth King, as Affiliate Senior Associate, Open Access. With deep experience of open access, change management and process development, Ruth was previously Editorial Director for Springer Nature's open access journals in Health Sciences, at BioMed Central. Linda Gardner, has also joined as Affiliate Associate, Medical Publishing and Communications. Linda is a medical publishing and medical communications professional with over 25 years’ experience working for the likes of the Current Science Group, Springer and Future Science Group in a variety of senior management roles.  Mark Styles, is Maverick’s new Affiliate Associate, Higher Education Textbooks and Online Digital Learning and has over 10 years’ experience in the Higher Education textbook and digital solutions market, gained in a variety of editorial, advisory and management roles with John Wiley & Sons Ltd. And illustrating the widening of different market sector client demand, Edwin Bailey, has come onto the team as Associate, B2B Publishing. With over 16 years' experience in trade, professional and business publishing, Edwin has worked for a number of publishing companies including Financial Times Business and Informa before setting up his own business URCH Publishing (which he sold in 2012).

Maverick’s Technology and Content Division has also seen a rich level of Associate growth in recent months, illustrating that new product, content and service development in the Publishing Industry is accelerating greatly. Nancy Roberts came on board in January as Senior Associate and has already delivered her first assignment. Nancy has worked in a variety of production and operations roles across publishing for the last 20 years, culminating in her most recent role as Academic Global Operations Director at Cambridge University Press. Lettie Conrad, Affiliate Associate, Product Research and Development also came on board in late 2016 and brings more than 15 years’ experience in scholarly publishing, most recently via senior management positions with SAGE Publishing. Based in the US, Lettie is Maverick’s lead specialist in UX / UI and content / platform discovery including web analytics and custom benchmarking for evidence-based product management. Often working with Lettie is Alicia Warren, Affiliate Associate, User Experience. Alicia is a UX professional who has served as the project lead in publishing on products ranging from SAGE journals to online learning platforms and marketing landing pages at Wiley. Adding to the Senior team expertise is Helga Zunde-Baker, who also joined in January as Senior Associate. Helga has almost 25 years of experience in academic and professional publishing, working for in the past for organisations as diverse as the British Standards Institution, The Lancet (Elsevier), The Chambers Dictionary, and IDS (Thomson Reuters). Most recently Helga was Global Head of Production at SpringerNature and prior to that was Publishing Services Director for Palgrave Macmillan.

The Maverick Marketing, Sales and Market Research team has also seen recent growth in numbers with Genevieve Collett joining as Senior Associate, Marketing and Market Research. Having worked in academic research publishing for more than 20 years, Genevieve has held positions in marketing, sales and editorial management for Wiley, Nature Publishing Group and Taylor and Francis. Most recently she has specialised in Learned Society and Association partnership marketing. Andrew Neilson, Affiliate Senior Associate, Sales and Marketing, has over 20 years’ international sales and marketing experience in academic and STM publishing, most recently as Channel Director, EMEALA at Elsevier Science and Technology. Prior to that, Andrew was Director of Sales and Marketing EMEA at Houghton Mifflin International, responsible for sales and marketing of Houghton Mifflin's college and trade/reference portfolios in EMEA. And lastly, Clare Wratten, has joined the team as Affiliate Associate, Marketing and Communications. Clare is an industry professional with over 18 years' experience in field, and specialises in both strategic and tactical PR communications as well as Social Media.

Speaking of the appointments, Martin Marlow, President of Maverick Publishing Specialists, said, “We’re delighted to welcome such a talented group of individuals on board, many of whom will be attending the upcoming London Book Fair and/or UKSG conferences. Our Industry is obviously undergoing a particularly rich period of growth and expansion at the moment. We are proud that we have been able to move quickly to assist our clients in meeting the needs of both their customers, authors and their diverse range of researchers and end users.

Maverick Publishing Specialists to launch two new service packages (and announce new Associates) at this year’s Frankfurt Book Fair

Maverick to promote new “Product Development & the Researcher Experience” and “Discovery to Download” Publisher Support Services at this year’s Fair.

Dorset, UK October, 2016 – Maverick Publishing Specialists, the specialist strategic consultancy and outsource services company for the publishing industry, today announced that in conjunction with Lettie Y. Conrad Consultancy, they will be launching two new specialist publisher support packages at this year’s Frankfurt Book Fair. And in related news, Maverick will also be unveiling 3 new Associates who are joining the ranks of their worldwide consultancy team.

Maverick have established 5 bespoke “turn key” support services in the areas of Marketing, Market Research, Content Management and Supplier / Vendor selection that are already retained by several clients from many market sectors and regions. At the Frankfurt Book Fair, this year, Maverick will be launching two product-focused services for Publishers of all types. 

The “Product Development & the Researcher Experience” package is exclusive to Maverick and is designed to assist clients with all aspects of their “user experience.” Publishers often struggle to translate an operational awareness of researcher and customer experiences into commercial success for digital products – whilst their long-term success often depends on a new approach to managing products. User-centered, evidence-based programming accelerates product innovation, and optimizes engagement and downloads. By generating an accurate view of users to translate into defined strategies, this new suite of Maverick services will provide publishers and institutions with insights into their researchers’ experiences, interpreted to inform business goals and drive impactful product decisions. Maverick experts help clients establish cutting-edge product development routines and can address improvements in metadata architecture, content management and distribution strategy, product design, business models, and more. From strategy to implementation, Maverick Product Development & Researcher Experience services are arranged around three distinct stages of build > measure > learn. This new offering includes end-to-end development, as well as design and implementation of product management processes, automated quality assurance and data governance, and establishment of resultant KPI dashboards to ensure they are best organised to compete in today’s digital marketplace.

The “Discovery to Download” service package is focused on optimizing discoverability and digital product usage. Channels of scholarly content discovery and access are plentiful, complex, and ever-changing. Many clients are concerned they may be in reactive mode when it comes to pushing their content through the networks where their readers expect to find them. Others are looking to proactively drive usage across industry sectors and address the expectations of their end users. Albeit, no one-size-fits-all, product and business objectives are often best met by facilitating a smooth, successful user journey from discovery to download. This new service package includes a variety of methods that have been proven to effectively and efficiently optimize content workflows and database development. The service elements (organized around “Insights”, “Analysis” and “Progress”) are focused on adhering to information industry standards, protecting the value of your copyright and licensing agreements, and increasing engagement and the researcher experience.

Lettie Y. Conrad recently joined Maverick as an Affiliate Associate from SAGE Publishing where she was mostly recently Executive Program Manager, Discovery & Access. She has already been with the Maverick team at the recent ALPSP conference and brings to Maverick over 15 years’ experience in scholarly publishing. An Associated Editor for Learned Publishing and serving her fifth year in NISO’s Open Discovery Initiative, Lettie’s areas of speciality include (amongst others) UX, discoverability and SEO and Product strategy development. She is based in California, USA.

Also new to Maverick – and joining the 5 strong Maverick team at the Book Fair this year – is another well-known industry figure, Arend Kuester. For the last six years, Arend was Director of Bloomsbury Qatar Foundation Journals / QScience (the Qatar Foundation and Bloomsbury Publishing partnership). He is now back in Germany (Berlin) and has joined to help with both Business Development and Projects. With over 25 years publishing industry expertise, Arend is an international senior executive who brings a wealth of experience in STM business strategy, sales and marketing; academic and professional journal development; as well as managing trade publishing and business relationships. He is also one of Maverick’s most experienced Open Access development specialists. Arend’s past career has also included Business Development Director at Bloomsbury Publishing Plc, and prior to that, European Director for Publishers Communication Group (PCG).

Lastly, Clare Wratten has joined Maverick as an Affiliate and is based on the South Coast of the UK. Clare is a marketing operations and PR / communications specialist and has joined the existing Maverick marketing team to help bolster the ranks of this largest (and still growing) division. Clare is an industry professional with over 18 years’ experience in marketing and communications and most recently worked at Semantico. She is currently managing the marketing and social media for several clients.

New Senior Associates herald expansion of Maverick Publishing Specialists expert teams in both EMEA and USA.

Appointment of Industry leaders facilitate Maverick’s increasing business growth in USA and Canada as well as senior management level expertise in EMEA and International markets.


Maverick Publishing Specialists, the specialist strategic consultancy and outsource services company for the publishing industry, today welcomed five new Senior Associates to its lead consultancy teams in both the USA and UK / EMEA.  The appointment of both Andy Slade in the UK and John Lavender in the US to the Core Maverick consultant ranks, and Andy Williams and Clare Painter (UK), and Nicola Poser (US), to its network of Affiliate Associates, further strengthens Mavericks ability to provide board level, global market expertise to its clients in all regions.

Andy Slade comes to Maverick with over 25 years’ experience in the industry, and joins from Wiley where he has held senior positions in life, earth and environmental sciences, most recently as Global Editorial Director (Books) for Health Sciences. Andy’s background particularly focussed on developing and implementing strategies to exploit business opportunities, improve efficiencies and meet financial targets. Recently this involved strategies for transitioning sales from print to digital; introducing new workflows to support and drive digital growth; launching digital products; and strategies for selecting and partnering with technology providers. He has experience of acquisitions and mergers, business plan development and delivery, team and departmental re-engineering.

John Lavender also has over 40 years’ experience in STM publishing, mainly at senior executive level. His experience of working in both major English language publishing markets and his career covering almost all the major roles in publishing gives him an unrivalled view of the industry. His corporate experience includes senior vice president of publishing (books and journals), online development, marketing, web development and international sales with Taylor & Francis and director of marketing, international sales and business development and electronic publishing with the Thomson Corporation. John specializes in marketing strategy and internet marketing; market research and creating advisory panels; publishing strategy for books and journals; list development; online platforms and packaging of content online; selling online products; and international sales expansion. He too also has extensive mergers and acquisitions experience.

Before joining Maverick as an Affiliate Associate, Andy Williams’ most recent role was Operations Director for Palgrave Macmillan where he was responsible for running the production, technology and bibliographic data departments. Andy has well over 30 years’ experience in publishing production and operations, combining both hands on project experience with strategic level planning and directing, across books, journals and reference titles. Having worked for a number of publishers and suppliers in traditional print and prepress production, his digital publishing knowledge developed further at Macmillan Online Publishing. There he managed all aspects of their reference sites, including Grove Art and Music, Encyclopaedia of Life Sciences and the Statesman’s Yearbook, from article creation to customer delivery, and from hosting to access control. Subsequently, at CUP and then at Palgrave Macmillan, he was heavily involved in developing their digital publishing strategies and content delivery solutions. At Cambridge he also ran the digital asset management team, and took the lead role in defining and implementing their replacement global DAM used by both the academic and ELT divisions.

Nicola Poser, also an Affiliate Associate and specialising in marketing, market research and sales, brings over 15 years of experience in academic and STM publishing to the team, having worked on books, journals, and online products at publishers of varying sizes and business models. Nicola’s areas of strength include strategic planning; branding and message development; audience and author engagement; new product launches; and customer experience and insight. Most recently the Marketing Director at The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery, Inc., she led a comprehensive branding project from market research and stakeholder interviews through messaging, positioning, revised style guide and logos, and enhanced programs for reviewers, authors, and surgical residents. In addition, Nicola built a content marketing program leading to increased end-user and author engagement with the JBJS portfolio.

Clare Painter is a well-known rights and licensing professional, helping publishers and content-owning organisations to manage digital licensing and reduce copyright risk, especially where licence terms need to be both effective and practical. She has a particular expertise in digital rights, and works with a wide variety of clients including book and journal publishers, professional membership associations, NGOs, business schools and universities, case study providers, information professionals and university presses (including OUP). Clare combines strategic overview, market knowledge and an eye for contractual detail. Her focus is on copyright audits, digital rights strategy, licensing contracts and permissions.

Speaking of the appointments, Martin Marlow, Principal Maverick Publishing Specialists, said, “We’re delighted to welcome such a talented group of individuals on board. In the last few years, Maverick has grown from strength to strength and these appointments further demonstrate the extent to which Maverick’s client base is also growing and requiring high level strategic and operational advice. John and Nicola’s appointments in particular supports Maverick’s recent high levels of increased business and new client additions in the US region. By attracting such high calibre Senior Executives to the team we can now draw on their considerable experience of the publishing industry to supply an even better quality service to our clients.”